Audio Quest possibly caught in scam

AudioQuest HDMI Cables | Real HD-Audio

OT for full range fans but good to know. Back in the 1990s I bought two 8ft lengths of Audio Quest Crystal and have Ruby interconnects. I don't use either anymore and believe I left the Crystal in the marital home after the divorce - never to be seen or heard again.

I bought a 500 foot spool of regular 16 gague cable from Parts Express a few years back and use that for everything.

Godzilla
 
I recently bought a spool of 500ft of 18gauge stranded speaker wire for $18. I'm good for a while :)

Note that Wesayso in his Twin Towers thread did measure a difference an acoustical phase shift and impedance from one type of cable to another by accident. It's important because he is concentrating on having nice flat phase (or maybe now it has morphed to minimum phase?) at the listening position. But that is rare and it wasn't like the difference between cheap and expensive cables.
 

ultrakaz

Member
2004-10-20 11:32 pm
Thanks for the amusing post. I think most of us who have been in this hobby are already dubious or unbelieving of $100+ (or even less) cables. I've seen, heard live demos, experimented with cables more than enough times; the "what if" does not move me anymore. It helps to have a buddy who owns an audio shop where samples show up and are equaled and sometimes defeated by "Radio Shack" cables. There are a few exceptions, but even at that not worth the $$$ value wise.
 
A cable would have to be very resistive before it made a lot of difference and affect the sound.

I did some research into cables for a project in the 1990's.
I was quite surprised how cables varied resistively per metre length.
We were looking for cable for a CCTV system and that required low voltage drop along quite long runs of cable.
I just bought in lots of samples, tested them and used the best.
 

freddi

Member
Paid Member
2005-08-16 4:21 pm
in the 1980's with a cheap 2-channel Onkyo receiver and cheap 3-way EPI speakers, I could hear the difference between one short run of #16 wire and two runs paralleled. The bass seemed "flabby" with only one run. A small bypass cap (small enough to only measure maybe 0.2dB difference) across a crossover's attenuating resistor may change the way something like a finger-cymbal sounds. Crossover cap ESR may (?) be a dominant factor to cap preference. Small tonal shifts seem audible up close. How about cheap copper clad aluminum speaker wire ? is it the same as copper? "better" ? - assuming China is honest enough to use decent aluminum, is there any perceivable difference vs copper cables when the copper clad's cross sectional area is made large enough to give equal resistance per unit length?

are we supposed to observe 10dB difference in audio levels between premium HDMI vs generic HDMI cables? what is that scale supposed to mean?
 
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Thanks for moving the thread kevinkr. Sorry about the OT in the full range forum. I just wanted my full range brothers and sister (I believe there's one) to see the article.

>>> in the 1980's with a cheap 2-channel Onkyo receiver and cheap 3-way EPI speakers, I could hear the difference between one short run of #16 wire and two runs paralleled. The bass seemed "flabby" with only one run.

Excellent freddi! We can braid our own expensive cables using cheaper cable.

Godzilla
 

rjm

Member
Paid Member
2004-05-02 2:41 pm
Kyoto
phonoclone.com
This had crossed my radar earlier. My take on it:

It seems that it was a low level employee or subsidiary who got it into his or her head that it would be a good idea to "simulate" the effect of changing cables by changing the playback eq. in a demo video, since of course one could be hardly be expected to appreciate the actual, undoctored advantage from listening to the soundtrack on the video itself.

It was dumb but probably not intentionally deceptive - I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt here since it was such a stupid idea. Of course it's found out and Audioquest has a serious PR disaster on its hands. Made worse I think because well, it's a mass-market audiophile cable company which makes its money convincing people to pay hundreds of dollars for HDMI cables. (.....) By definition that must involve a certain amount of snake oil, and even while Audioquest is normally as a rule very careful in their marketing to avoid any kind of hard claims people are predisposed to believe they are out to dupe people.
 

scott wurcer

Disabled Account
2004-01-26 3:03 pm
Belmont MA
I guess I am one of the "duped" consumers. I replaced generic HDMI cables with AQ Coffee level HDMI cables. I noted a immediate improvement in detail and color saturation. Didn't do any audio comparison. I don't want my money back.

That's cool, I have the opposite experience, no corruption of data no difference. Since HDMI is a complex transmission of digital bits there is no simple translation from lost data to an analog effect(detail/color saturation/frequency response) so there is no reason for any subtle difference just correct or garbage.

Gladly sit there with you while someone else does the DBT thingy, no peeking/knowing allowed.
 
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I've heard major audible differences between boutique and lamp cord in some speakers, but when measured it was obvious that electrical filters were embedded in the cables, explaining much of why they were so 'fat'.

Bottom line for me is use what's required for the intended app and if it needs electronic assistance, then do it outboard where it can easily, ~inexpensively be tweaked rather than having to spend major 'coin of the realm' swapping out ridiculously overpriced cables.

GM
 
I guess I am one of the "duped" consumers. I replaced generic HDMI cables with AQ Coffee level HDMI cables. I noted a immediate improvement in detail and color saturation. Didn't do any audio comparison. I don't want my money back.

The result suggested is technically and scientifically impossible. A passive digital link can't possibly have those effects.

Digital and analog links differ greatly in this area of performance. What is not uncommon and even likely with analog links can be impossible with digital links.

However, the result is both possible and expected when people compare products like these while knowing the identities of the products that they are comparing.

If you follow the whole anecdote, not even Audioquest was willing to have these kinds of benefits ascribed to their product.

This is called the placebo effect, and its easy to demonstrate and document. The placebo effect affects many other comparisons, including drug trials.

Most people are highly surprised when they find that they are susceptible to the placebo effect and how convincing it can be. It is well known in the realm of criminal justice that the testimony of eyewitnesses is highly unreliable, and this sort of thing is just one reason why.
 

rjm

Member
Paid Member
2004-05-02 2:41 pm
Kyoto
phonoclone.com
Is modern video completely digital now? No D/A conversion? How does the process work, where [01011 digital code 01011] ends up as "turn pixel row 586 column 123 to R 255 G 255 B 255"? Surely at the end of the day there's an analog voltage applied to the liquid crystal in each pixel?

If we are agreed - and I hope we are agreed on this in 2016 - that jitter is a real and unwanted phenomena in audio, then can noise-induced timing errors possibly affect the brightness output of a pixel on a screen?

I don't know, but I'll need a more convincing argument than "it's a digital signal so it can't make any difference" before I dismiss the possibility. I've heard that cry before with CD transports in the 1990's and even with CD players (!) in the 1980's.
 

wwenze

Member
2008-03-07 12:46 pm
Well that jitter is certainly ruining the sentences I'm seeing on the internet.

Bad jitter, smack smack.

Anyway back to topic, this isn't the first time this happens and it won't be the last. Here's an ad for a vibration speaker that doesn't change its frequency response a single bit when removed from the surface. And that the volume change is not synchronized with when it is lifted from the table.
I-MU Vibro Speakers - Video at Firebox.com

And how about all the TV ads showing how their TV looks better than yours... on your own TV?

Perhaps Audioquest deserves attention because they sell expensive things, and in this case the claim can be tested - if you get that cable and you don't measure the differences demonstrated, then one of them is wrong, that is why you have the confidence calling it out as a scam, as opposed to for example scalar field blackbody radiations of 7.83Hz. But frankly, the authorities as well as the copyright office doesn't care about the scientific method.
 

zxx222

Member
2005-08-01 8:23 am
b
Well, I had funny experience with audioquest cinnamon hdmi cable. It was ok when I used it to connect htpc with Panasonic plasma TV. However after I replaced htpc with MINIX TV box, I noticed blue haze on black background on my TV screen. It disappeared after I connected minix with TV using generic hdmi cable that came bundled with it.

I made conclusion that bad cable can influence digital signal, so probably it makes sense to compare various cables in system and more expensive will not necessarily be best.
 
Is modern video completely digital now?

Deflection noted. This has been a discussion of digital interconnecting cables which are completely in the digital domain. Discussion of other parts of the system are a different topic.

No D/A conversion? How does the process work, where [01011 digital code 01011] ends up as "turn pixel row 586 column 123 to R 255 G 255 B 255"? Surely at the end of the day there's an analog voltage applied to the liquid crystal in each pixel?

All true but irrelevant to the discussion of the performance of HDMI cables.

BTW the display portion of a digital video system need not contain any analog voltages at all. A common video display technology that completely avoids analog voltages is called DLP. DLP is widely used in large format displays such as those in movie theaters, auditoriums and churches. It is used in video projectors for home use, as well. It was also used in TV sets for home use up until a few years ago. DLP uses off/on modulation of light and the visual persistance of the human eye to create the impression of varying light levels.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_Light_Processing

Do try to stick to the topic at hand, please? ;-)
 
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Well, I had funny experience with audioquest cinnamon hdmi cable. It was ok when I used it to connect htpc with Panasonic plasma TV. However after I replaced htpc with MINIX TV box, I noticed blue haze on black background on my TV screen. It disappeared after I connected minix with TV using generic hdmi cable that came bundled with it.

I made conclusion that bad cable can influence digital signal, so probably it makes sense to compare various cables in system and more expensive will not necessarily be best.

Most likely, just another example of the pervasiveness of placebo effects.

Here's your challenge. How did the Audioquest cable modify the digital data stream in such a way that a blue haze was added? The color information is transmitted as a series of numbers. How does one selectively change digitally coded numbers with a simple piece of cable?

As many have said, we remove the improbable, and what's left is most likely the truth. Tint or color intensity changes due to HDMI cable can't happen without the picture becoming hopelessly scrambled, so what remains is often the results of the inherent errors in human perception.